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July 22, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

Does Skill Matter?

by Mike Gianella


One of my favorite questions that I get from fantasy baseball players is along the lines of, “So, what makes you an expert?” Often, this question is asked in a belligerent tone, and is followed by the word “huh.” Some fantasy players think that anyone who has half a brain and can read can win a fantasy baseball league, since it’s mostly luck. Others think that while some skill is involved, more often than not it is luck that determines whether or not you’re going to win the title.

So, which is it? Is skill the reason that some owners walk away with the title or is it mostly luck?

Empirically, this question is difficult to answer. Some fantasy players are more successful than other fantasy players year in and year out. This would suggest that skill is involved, since while winning once can be considered a random event, multiple victories (or top finishes) would suggest a degree of skill. On the other hand, this might not necessarily hold either. A craps player could roll a nine four consecutive times. This doesn’t suggest any kind of skill for rolling nines. While unlikely, it is possible that a fantasy player who wins two or three titles in a row is just as lucky as the guy at the craps tables rolling nothing but nines.

I have played fantasy baseball long enough to know that while some luck is involved, without a strong skill set you are rarely, if ever, going to win. In a league with nothing but beginners, luck might reign supreme. Eventually, though, one or more people in your league will improve and the odds of luck helping will decrease.

Where does skill help in a typical Rotisserie league and—perhaps more importantly—what types of skills should you be trying to cultivate?

Pre-Auction: Developing Your Plan

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Overthinking It: Secon... (07/21)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Sec... (07/17)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Dum... (07/29)
Next Article >>
The Week In Quotes: Ju... (07/22)

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